Power generated from all the different power plants is transmitted to the consumers through networks like transformers, cables, overhead lines and various other means. These are very complex methods used to reach out to the consumers and result in wastage of a significant percentage during the various transmission processes. Metallic conductors such as aluminum and copper are used to transmit the electricity but due to their resistance, a certain amount of energy is lost in the form of heat. In the last few years, though, the loss is seen getting reduced from 13 percent to 7.5 percent with the experts trying to find high-tech ways to reduce it even further.

Technological advancement has been dominating the planet for some time now and top EPC companies are trying to make use of it for reducing the power loss, which is an important step towards a developed tomorrow. Some common ways in which technology is helping us to reduce this loss of power are:

Advanced metering to reduce AT&C losses

AT&C is ‘Aggregate Technical & Commercial losses’. It is basically the sum total of all technical losses and commercial losses, and provides us with a realistic picture of the overall energy and revenue loss. Advanced metering options are used these days to reduce the AT&C losses which are unusually high. It is used to measure and control the flow of power to/from consumers on a near real-time basis and improve the system reliability. An intelligent move to smartly control the power loss.

Using capacitor banks to increase reactive load

There are two types of loads in a system. The real load is the one which performs the work and the reactive load is the one used to magnetise objects such as a transformer. By strategically planning and installing a capacitor bank the reactive load on the system can be controlled, thus reducing the loss of reactive load.

Old and worn out equipment

Is old really gold? Not always! It is important to change the old and worn out equipment and replace them with equipment that is new and technologically modified or evolved. More often than not, the old equipment would need an upgrade in order to improve the results. In very high usage regions of the network, installing replacement cables with a higher power rating can greatly reduce losses. Constantly checking up on them and replacing them with new and updated versions will certainly keep a check on the overall power loss.  

Finding the right transformer

Transformers operate most efficiently when they are at 80-100 percent of their maximum capacity. It is important that we use the right transformer for the right load. Any transformer which is frequently under loaded should be replaced with a smaller transformer to reduce the power loss and vice versa. Finding the right transformer for your load is an efficient way of saving power.

Phase balancing

Balancing the phase will help us to balance the current delivered through each phase line, thus reducing the loss of power. An analysis of the consumer’s usage and load is done to provide the best balancing of the loads on each phase. While planning any new infrastructure it is important to consider the phase balance and system load to maximise its efficiency.

Electricity transmission in India has developed and evolved in the past couple of years. Identifying the causes of loss and coming up with solutions that are tech-driven is the need of the hour to ensure maximum efficiency. Many new practices have been introduced to help its overall cause and more focus on technological advancement is being given to minimise the loss.

Published by Sumity Paul